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Operation Crossroads (Part I)


Published 1946


Documents Able Day and Baker Day blasts of the atomic bomb tests at Bikini Island in the Pacific. Contains footage from many of the ground and aerial cameras set up to record the blasts, beginning with B-29 aircraft "Dave's Dream" dropping an atomic bomb on Bikini Atoll.


Run time 12:06
Producer Handy (Jam) Organization
Sponsor U.S. Navy, Commander Joint Task Force One
Audio/Visual Sd, B&W

Shotlist

Documents the Able Day and Baker Day blasts of the atomic bomb tests at Bikini Island in the Pacific.

Commander Joint Task Force One presents,
OPERATION CROSSROADS

Assured that they were "making history", this film contains footage from many of the ground and aerial sources set up to record the Bikini Island blasts, beginning with the B-29 "Dave's Dream" dropping an atomic bomb on Bikini Atoll. It records the military's expertise, preparations, and precautions involved in this A-bomb experimentation. It impresses upon the viewer its use of the scientific method through such shots as: still and motion cameras being encased in lead boxes on towers, the 90 ships placed as targets for testing their durability during the bomb blasts, metal boxes for collecting and measuring degrees of radioactivity are pulled by six foot poles off of military jets assuring us that the "crews removing the dangerously radioactive materials were carefully indoctrinated in the procedure of handling such objects", and pigs and goats being "placed aboard some of the ships to substitute for military personnel. A study of their future life history will provide invaluable information."
After the vessels are destroyed by the atomic bomb, they are sprayed with water and chemicals so that the military can board the charred remains for inspection.
"It must be remembered that the primary purpose of the Bikini experiments was to secure precise technical information which will be used to determine necessary changes in the design and construction of all military equipment and especially Navy vessels required to maintain your Navy at maximum effectiveness. We must be fully prepared to protect our national security promptly and effectively in the event that we are attacked. We must defend ourselves against this new and elemental force, or be destroyed by it. THIS IS CROSSROADS!"

"These historic experiments were executed by units of the United States Army Ground Forces, Army Air Forces and the Navy in cooperation with the Manhattan Engineering District and many other branches of the United States Government and civilian scientific institutions. The primary purposes of the Bikini tests were to secure precise and accurate ship damage and instrumentation measurements resulting from atomic bomb explosions occurring both in mid-air and just beneath the surface of the water. The lessons learned may save many lives, many ships and many millions of dollars by guiding future expenditures for national defense into the most productive and efficient channels. It is therefore essential that our Army and Navy designers, tacticians, strategists and medical officers learn as much as possible NOW regarding the effect of this revolutionary weapon on targets not heretofore exposed to it. Without the information which can be gained from these experiments, your military leaders cannot discharge their responsibilities which you have assigned them. To find this information was the objective of Operation Crossroads. "

Poking at metal boxes used for radioactivity collectors with long hooked metal poles
Many mushroom clouds, bombers in flight and landing
charred ships



Atomic explosions Nuclear explosions Safety Danger Lurks
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Reviews

Reviewer: Jah Gussi - - March 10, 2005
Subject: gmm
gmm
Reviewer: Spuzz - - December 9, 2003
Subject: What happened to the goats?
A fairly interesting piece about the Bikini Atoll nuke bomb tests, One above the water and the other in. Various test ships are moored down. Unsurprisingly, most are reduced to rubble. Also, there are pigs and goats left on the ship, used to test the effects of the bomb on them. Since nothing is mentioned after that about their fate, we can only guess it was buh-bye!
Best Moment: A US official goes to the Island of Bikini to offer King Midas 'gifts'. Make your own joke there.
Reviewer: Lewis Payne - - February 12, 2003
Subject: Beautiful, terrifying explosion footage
Scenes of two nuclear detonation tests on Bikini Atoll, one on the ground, another slightly submerged below the water. Much is made of the various preparations, talking about the cameras used to film the event, the planes taking aerial photos, etc. The second test is probably the more spectacular, showing a mammoth cloud of radioactive seawater steam spreading across a wide area. Animals such as goats and pigs are tied to some of the unmanned test ships berthed close to ground zero; fortunately the film doesn't show us what happens to them.
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